Ina Garten once said “You can be miserable before you eat a cookie; you can be miserable after you eat a cookie. But you can’t be miserable while you are eating a cookie.” I agree with her, as long as the cookie you’re eating is a really good cookie, not some store-bought, preservative-laden, hard and dry cookie. (Seriously, check the ingredient labels of the cookies you buy, even at some in-store bakeries. Do you even know how to pronounce some of those chemical names?)
As I write this, I am baking up a batch of what I like to call “super-cinnamon-y snickerdoodles.” They smell fantastic! Don’t you love the scent of cinnamon? It’s wonderful to me. I love how snickerdoodles stretch themselves out on the cookie sheet as they are baking, and how chewy they are when they cool. Before they cool, I sprinkle them with extra cinnamon-sugar mixture, so that when you bite into the cookie you get a little crunch with the cookies chewiness. I love a cookie that spreads when baking.
That’s why I had a hard time with my recipe for cherry-chocolate chip cookies. I love the idea of a wonderful chocolate chip cookie with bits of dried cherries mixed into the batter. I pictured this cookie spreading itself out like a nice, wide snickerdoodle, so you’d be able to see each chip and each cherry chunk right there on top of the cookie. I could imagine how prettily they’d stack in bags that I’d give to my friends who order them from me; nice, straight towers of pretty cookies.
I made the recipe, and couldn’t wait for my big, round cherry chocolate chip cookies to come out of the oven! I opened the door, and……they were lumpy, thick blobs of cookie; not at all what I’d been hoping for. Rats! However, I had to go ahead and deliver them to the folks who’d asked for them, and I had to admit, they tasted pretty good. I just hoped no one would complain when their cookies didn’t look like the typical cookies that I bring to them.
No one did.
The cookies were well received by everyone! One friend said: “I thought, oh, look a chocolate chip cookie; nice. Then I took a bite, and got this unexpected piece of chewy cherry, and I couldn’t believe it! I love these!” I’ve heard similar words from several other folks. One nice lady took hers to a Bible study group along with a batch of my plain chocolate chip cookies, and everyone gobbled up the ones with cherries before she even got to try one! She liked the regular ones, though, thankfully. They are pretty good, themselves.
Well, I’ve teased you long enough. Let me share the recipe with you for my decadent Cherry Chocolate Chip cookies!
MamaSteph’s Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups + 2 tbsp plain flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted, melted butter (then cooled)
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp real vanilla extract (you know how I feel about imitation vanilla! Don’t go there!)
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried whole cherries (I cut the cherries in half, and sometimes use a bit more than a half cup.)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. If you don’t have good nonstick cookie sheets, line them with parchment paper.
Mix dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over very low heat, and then set aside to cool in a bowl.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the melted (and cooled) butter and sugar together with a mixer on medium speed, for about two minutes. Beat in the egg, yolk and vanilla until smooth, for about three minutes. You want this mixture to look light in color and whipped.
Turn mixer to low speed, and add dry flour mixture to the butter mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, until blended. Try to make this happen in about a minute’s time so the dough doesn’t get tough.
Mix in the chocolate chips and cherries for a few seconds, until you see they are distributed throughout the dough.
Using a cookie scoop, scoop dough onto cookie sheets. Bake for seven minutes, then turn the pan in the oven and bake for seven minutes more. Bottom edge should just barely be beginning to brown before removing from oven.
Allow to stand on cookie sheets for about ten minutes; then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
And here they are: